How to be a Virtual Assistant

12 Top Tips to Get Started on Linkedin as a Virtual Assistant

By Tanya Kuhrt

LinkedIn is a great resource for any Virtual Assistant business as it connects you with your potential clients – small business owners. So today I’m going to give you my 12 top tips on how to use this amazing free resource to get started as a Virtual Assistant.

First  I want to start by saying that LinkedIn, like all social media, is of course a form of networking. And networking is a long game – it’s about building relationships and trust and that is why it is absolutely crucial to start being active on LinkedIn as soon as possible when you set up your VA business.

My favourite form of networking is face to face, and I always follow that up by connecting with people on LinkedIn (and other platforms) afterwards in order to continue the relationship. But it is perfectly possible to use LinkedIn to build relationships from scratch with a view of course to finding clients.

So here are my top tips:

  1. Check with  your employer first: If you’re working full or part-time and setting up as a VA on the side it’s really important to check your employment contract to find out whether you can promote yourself on Linkedin and other online channels.
  2. Have a decent profile picture: Using LinkedIn without a profile picture is like going to a networking meeting with a paper bag over your head. People will not want to interact with you! If you can’t afford to get a professional head shot done yet, get someone to take a reasonably professional looking photo with a smartphone. Don’t use a holiday snap or a selfie.
  3. Review  and update your professional headline: This little summary of who you are is displayed under your name when you like, share and post. First impressions count so think hard about what you will put here. Try to include the term “Virtual Assistant” because people search on LinkedIn using that term.
  4. Research your ideal client: Hint: Your client is not “anybody”, or “any small business owner”. Marketing works far more effectively if it is targeted. Have a brainstorming session to work out which kind of clients are ideal for you and your services – try to be as specific as possible. Think about what their problems are and how you can solve them.
  5. Review and rewrite your profile summary: Once you know who your ideal client is, you should review and rewrite your profile summary directly addressing yourself to them and letting them know why you are the answer to their prayers. Do NOT simply regurgitate your CV or resumé  – you are not applying for a job.
  6. Research the LinkedIn groups that your ideal client hangs out in: Groups are really important because they allow you to interact closely with people you’re not connected to. Use the LinkedIn search facility to find real examples of your ideal client, scroll down to “interests” in their profile and check out the groups they are in. Apply to join as many relevant groups as you can.
  7. Use the groups to start building relationships.  Like, share and comment on posts. Post links to articles, blogs and information that will be of interest to your ideal client. Ask questions – people love to answer questions and groups are a great resource for market research.
  8. Don’t just post links to your website and blogs or sales messages: Ideally you should be posting around 75-80% useful and interesting information, comments, conversations etc and only around 20-25% sales related material. This rule also applies other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
  9. Connect, connect connect: Consider sending a connection request with a personalised message to everyone who looks at your profile – after all, they were probably looking at it because they are interested in you!
  10. Consider all connection requests unless you have a specific reason not to accept: The more people you are connected to the greater your chances of finding your ideal clients. The LinkedIn search facility becomes more powerful the more connections you have. You can have up to 30,000 connections – and you’re not likely to be approaching that limit any time soon! When you accept a connection request always send a message thanking them and asking if there is anything you can do to help.
  11. Export and Organise: when I originally wrote this post number 11 was “Use the Tagging Feature”. Unfortunately with LinkedIn’s recent update this fab feature is no longer available unless you pay. But don’t worry. You can request a download of your data which includes a list of all your connections with their email addresses, and, crucially: their job role. So although its a bit more fiddly, you can still organise your connections into lists and target people with specific job roles. Keep a list of the people you think could be potential clients and every now and then you should check their profiles for their latest activity and like, share and comment on their posts. Don’t be pushy and don’t become a stalker – sound helpful and be interested in their business.
  12. Consistency and regularity are key: You need to be doing little and often. Rather than going onto LinkedIn once a month and being really active, and then not going near it again for weeks, try to do a bit each day or every other day. Make a plan and stick to it.

Networking in any form doesn’t produce results overnight, and using LinkedIn does take longer than building face to face relationships. That is why it is so crucial to start this NOW!

These actions I’ve outlined are the first steps – you are sowing seeds. Later you can progress to approaching your connections more directly and you will also start to be noticed yourself because of your increased visibility. I’d love to hear about your progress, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to use the comments box – I always respond.

How to be a Virtual Assistant

 

 

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